Update September 2nd 8:00 P.M. Alaska Time. Bristol Palin's boyfriend Levi Johnston has stepped forward and identified himself.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has already learned one valuable lesson from the festering Troopergate scandal - get the story out early, and get it right from the outset.
And in response to growing speculation about the true origin of Sarah Palin's own baby, Trig, the Palins announced on September 1st that the rumors were half-true; her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, is five months pregnant. First reported by the Anchorage Daily News and the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. And this story is spreading like wildfire; not only are there three different CNN stories (Teen daughter of GOP VP pick is pregnant, Ticker: When did McCain know about baby?, and Cindy McCain, first lady to express support). KTUU Channel 2 has now filed a report; video embedded below:
Governor Palin, who arrived in St. Paul today to formally accept the Republican nomination for vice president at the Republican national convention, sent out a joint statement with her husband, Todd.
"Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned," they said. "We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents. As Bristol faces the responsibilities of adulthood, she knows she has our unconditional love and support.
"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family. We ask the media to respect our daughter and Levi's privacy, as has always been the tradition of children of candidates," the Palin family statement concluded.
The prospective father of the child had not been identified, and Governor Palin chose not to answer further questions about it, either herself or through her representatives. "We're asking the media to respect a person's privacy," said Maria Comella, Palin's campaign spokesman. However, since that time, Levi Johnston has stepped forward and identified himself as Bristol's boyfriend, and will attend the convention in St. Paul. McCain advisers are telling reporters he knew about the pregnancy before choosing Palin as his vice presidential nominee. The advisers said Palin told them about the pregnancy during lengthy discussions about her background. At several points during the discussions, McCain's team warned Palin that the scrutiny into her private life would be intense and that there was nothing she could do to prepare for it.
Alaska District 31 Rep. Bob Lynn (R-Anchorage Hillside), an Alaska delegate to the Republican National Convention, said this is nobody's business but the Palins'. "I think conservative and liberal and moderate voters will all agree that it's a private family matter," Lynn said. "This is family life; we all have family situations."
Palin made the announcement following growing rumors on the Internet that the governor's new baby, Trig, was actually Bristol's and that Palin had claimed it to cover up her daughter's pregnancy. Those rumors, and links to the primary sources, are addressed in my previous post on this issue.
Public reaction, as reflected by public comments posted to the Daily News story, is somewhat skeptical and is hostile at times. Part of this reflects the legacy of Troopergate, during which Governor Palin's equivocal response has cynicized much of the Alaskan population. It will simply take time for Governor Palin to restore her tarnished political reputation.
However, many of the negative comments are posted by those who prefer alien secular values of diversity and multiculturalism rather than traditional American family values. They snidely inquire where are the Palin family values now. I'll answer them - the family values are still expressed by the way the Palin family is responding to the unplanned pregnancy. The family is coming together to provide emotional and material support to Bristol, and Bristol and her intended are doing the right thing by getting married.
Contrast this to the reaction of the typical supersized ghetto she-boon whose 17-year-old daughter has an unplanned pregnancy. Instead of doing the right thing, they all go trundling down to the local welfare office and demand more Section Eight housing and more food stamps and an endless supply of other taxpayer-financed bennies. Gimme, gimme, gimme!!!
Yes, the Palin family continues to exhibit and personify those traditional American family values which catapulted America to unprecedented power and prosperity in their response to an unplanned family challenge. I honor them for their choice, and separate this from Governor Palin's political skills, which remain very much subject to public criticism.
But not to worry, gentle and not-so-gentle readers; I have NOT become a Palinbot. I just insist on separating their private family life from Sarah's political life.